China’s regulators have trumpeted its concept of “cyber-sovereignty” since the inaugural conference in 2014. But the dichotomy between the American and Chinese tech industries has never attracted as much scrutiny as today, when the world’s two richest countries are butting heads in a conflict that may shape a new world order. As U.S. icons like Google and Facebook come under fire for privacy violations and enabling hate speech, their Chinese counterparts are touting theirs as the superior model: one geared toward the interests of the state.
November 8th 2018
The recruitment follows a well-known five-step espionage road map: Spotting, assessing, developing, recruiting, and, finally, what professionals call “handling.”
October 31st 2018
Up until a few months ago, the future looked bright for Fan Bingbing. As one of China’s biggest movie stars.
Then in June, she became embroiled in a scandal about movie stars under-reporting their earnings, resulting in Chinese tax authorities investigating the industry -- including Fan -- for possible evasion. The 36-year-old actress, who has 63 million followers on the Twitter-like Weibo, has since vanished from public view-- no more social media updates, no more paparazzi photos and no more public appearances.
"Social media and public opinion, as you know, are important drivers of policies in this area, particularly when it comes to perceived inequalities, the super-rich, and cheating,” said Rosen. Still, he predicts the government won’t deepen its crackdown in a way that harms the industry longer term.
September 11th 2018
It is a year to the day since Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel-peace-prize winner and one of China’s most famous campaigners for democracy, died of liver cancer while serving an 11-year sentence for subversion. His wife, Liu Xia, will mourn him in Berlin. Three days ago she was finally allowed to leave China, having spent the past eight years detained at home without charge. Some think China freed her to please Germany, whose government has followed her case and whose support China wants in its trade spat with America. Even so, it will do nothing to convince Western countries that China is easing up in its treatment of dissidents. Ms Liu’s release came a day after the anniversary of what is known in China as the “709” crackdown of 2015, during which hundreds of civil-rights lawyers and other activists were rounded up. Many remain in custody.
July 13th 2018
In a 20-minute segment about China that aired Sunday on the satirical news show “Last Week Tonight,” the host John Oliver brought up President Xi Jinping’s resemblance to Winnie the Pooh.
That, among other delicate references, seems to have touched a nerve in China, where the British comedian has now been censored on a major social media platform — just as the cartoon bear had been.
“Apparently, Xi Jinping is very sensitive about his perceived resemblance to Winnie the Pooh,” Mr. Oliver said on the show. “And I’m not even sure it’s that strong a resemblance, to be honest. But the fact he’s annoyed about it means people will never stop bringing it up.”
June 21st 2018
One of President Xi Jinping’s most powerful tools for increasing China’s global influence is Hollywood.
June 15th 2018
“China is the biggest prison in the world for both professional and non-professional journalists,” said Margaux Ewen, North America Executive Director of Reporters Without Borders, during the presentation launching the organization’s 2018 index in Washington D.C.
More than 50 Chinese journalists and bloggers are currently detained in conditions that pose a threat to their lives, the index says, as evidenced by the fact that two imprisoned bloggers died last year due to untreated cancer while in detention
April 25th 2018
China’s online population of 731 million gets a highly restricted internet, one that doesn’t include access to Google, Facebook, YouTube or the New York Times. There’s little coverage of the 1989 student protests in Tiananmen Square. Even Winnie the Pooh got temporarily banned. China is able to control such a vast ocean of content through the largest system of censorship in the world, aptly known as the Great Firewall of China.
(It's very unlikely that this article can be viewed within China)
November 30th 2017
China was the world’s worst abuser of internet freedom for the third year in a row according to the new @FreedomHouse report. #netfreedom2017
China was the world’s worst abuser of internet freedom in Freedom on the Net for the third consecutive year. New regulations increased pressure on companies to verify users’ identities and restrict banned content and services. Meanwhile, users themselves were punished for sharing sensitive news and commentary, with prison terms ranging from five days to eleven years.
The government tightened online controls in advance of the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in October 2017, at which President Xi Jinping, the party’s general secretary, cemented his leadership for the next five years. “Cyberspace sovereignty” has been a top policy goal under Xi, and related legal changes were incorporated into a cybersecurity law adopted in November 2016. The legislation, most of which took effect in June 2017, continued a trend of escalating requirements on internet companies to register their users’ real names, among other provisions. The law also obliges foreign companies to store Chinese user data in mainland China.
The drive to codify what were previously ad hoc censorship and surveillance strategies persisted during the coverage period, with new regulations to license digital tools like VPNs that are used to circumvent website blocking by the centralized censorship apparatus known as the Great Firewall. Other new restrictions targeted citizen journalism, and several sought to prevent websites from republishing “unverified” news from social media. According to regulations issued in May 2017, sites that are not licensed cannot provide any online news and information services.
These rules are taking their toll on civil society. A number of notable domestic websites were closed down during the past year, including Gongshi Wang, a website that sought common ground among different ideological camps regarding democracy and good governance, and Zhongmu Wang, a website serving the Hui Muslim community. At least three website operators in the civil society sector were arrested, including Huang Qi, founder of the human rights website 64 Tianwang, who was detained in December 2016 and later charged with providing state secrets to foreigners.
Dissidents and members of ethnic or religious minority groups received the heaviest penalties for online speech, but ordinary internet users also felt the impact of the increasingly repressive regime. Multiple administrative detentions were used to punish individuals whose posts challenged local or national officials, even in closed messaging groups.
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